Transforming America’s existing oil infrastructure to help fight climate change

Case story

7 minute read

Creating a more sustainable future from deep in the heart of Texas

When Neste started doing business in North America in the '80s, our focus was on oil products. We used to collect crude oil by truck from the Texas oil fields and sell gasoline to the U.S. West Coast. Now, our focus is on renewable products.

From our regional headquarters in the energy hub that is Houston, Texas, Neste is proud to be accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future. We offer Texas’ diverse, talented community of climate conscious professionals an opportunity to create a healthier planet for future generations. And we are working with America’s energy industry to grow the availability of renewable and circular solutions. 

Neste in the US

FACTS: Neste US 

  • Regional headquarters in Houston

  • Over 100 full-time employees in Texas, and growing

  • Helped American cities and businesses keep over 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere in 2020 

What you will learn from this article: 

  • How Neste is helping transform America’s existing oil infrastructure to help fight climate change

  • How Neste is helping Texas-based companies achieve their climate goals faster How Neste is fueling customers in North America with low-carbon fuels

#ClimateActionNow: Transforming America’s existing oil infrastructure to help fight climate change

Renewable products work with the United States’ vast network of existing oil pipelines, terminals, fueling stations, and refineries. Many of these assets are owned by companies based in Texas. Neste is working with leading energy companies to use the country’s infrastructure to rapidly scale the availability of renewable fuels.

"There is a clear, positive role for America's existing energy infrastructure in creating a sustainable future. Together with our partners, we’re transforming existing oil assets into what can be considered green infrastructure."

Jeremy Baines, President of Neste US

A Green Fuel Hub

Partner: San Antonio-based NuStar Energy, one of America’s largest terminal and pipeline operators

What we’re doing: Expanding a NuStar terminal in Selby, California, making it a leading hub for low carbon, renewable fuels. The facility enables Neste to deliver a growing volume of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) across the U.S. West Coast. The partnership has established Neste and NuStar as early movers in the renewable fuels transportation market. Over the last decade, Neste has supplied approximately 220 million gallons of renewable fuels into California through the NuStar Selby Terminal. “Renewable fuels must play a larger role, starting right now, to fight climate change,” says Baines. “There are millions of heavy, diesel-powered road vehicles and jet-powered aircraft in service today, with more planned to come into service in the years ahead. These vehicles and aircraft are not going away anytime soon. So, we must act now to get them running on smarter, cleaner renewable fuels.”  

A Major Feedstock Terminal

Partner: Houston-based Kinder Morgan, one of America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. 

What we’re doing: Transforming an existing oil storage terminal in Harvey, Louisiana, into a facility that will support increased production of renewable diesel, SAF and renewable feedstock for polymers and chemicals, as well as modify existing tanks and piping to store used cooking oil and other feedstock used to make renewable fuels. This partnership further enhances Kinder Morgan’s commitment in providing its customers with infrastructure solutions for renewable fuels.Once the project is up and running, Neste will be able to aggreste feedstocks from around the country much more cost effectively and with a smaller carbon footprint. This project follows a strong history of collaboration between the two companies. In 2020, Neste began supplying SAF directly to the San Francisco International Airport via a Kinder Morgan pipeline, and that pipeline has delivered 11 million gallons of SAF to date.

#ClimateGoals: Helping Texas-based companies achieve their climate goals faster 

Testing the Circular Economy at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, Partner: DFW, the United States’ second busiest airport

What are we doing: Neste is helping DFW reduce GHG emissions per passenger by 15% with a circular economy. Used cooking oil from DFW’s more than 200 concessionaires are collected by Mahoney Environmental, a Neste Subsidiary. Neste then turns this waste material into renewable fuels to help fight climate change. Fast forward to November 2021, DFW became the first airport in the US to test a collaborative circular economy project in the aviation sector. To complete the circle, Avfuel, a global supplier of aviation fuels, safely supplied a demonstrative load of Neste MY SAF to DFW Corporate Aviation, the airport’s full-service fixed-base operator (FBO), for its business aviation customers.

Bringing sustainable air travel to two major Texas cities 

Partners: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and William P. Hobby Airport in Houston

What are we doing: Neste and Signature Flight Support announced permanent supplies of sustainable aviation fuel at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin and William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, enabling business and private aviation passengers to fly with a smaller carbon footprint. 

Introducing SAF to the helicopter industry 

Partner: Bell Textron, the rotorcraft division of Textron Inc., in Fort Worth, Texas

What are we doing: In early 2021, through a partnership with Neste, Avfuel started offering an ongoing supply of sustainable aviation fuel to Bell Textron, a helicopter manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth. Bell uses the fuel in all Bell Training Academy and customer demonstration fleet aircraft.  As sustainable aviation fuel is still relatively new for the rotorcraft industry, the partnership with Neste and Avfuel has enabled Bell to become the industry’s first mover.  

Transporting food and consumer goods with smaller carbon footprint 

Partners: Quality Custom Distribution and Core-Mark, two leading food distributors based in Texas 

What are we doing: Headquartered in Schertz, Texas, Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) is a division of Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers and manufacturers in the quick-service restaurant industry. QCD’s fleet drives more than 35 million miles per year, delivering more than a million products to popular chains like Chipotle, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks across the nation. Neste supplies renewable diesel to QCD, which enables the company to keep 6,200 metric tons GHG emissions out of the atmosphere every year - this is equivalent to making 1,348 passenger cars zero-emission.Core-Mark International, a leading distribution service provider based in West Lake, Texas, is also reducing its carbon footprint by partnering with Neste. Core-Mark operates more than 1,500 trucks to deliver goods to nearly 40,000 convenience store retail locations across the U.S. Powered by renewable diesel from Neste, Core-Mark is now keeping 445 metric tons of GHG emissions out of the atmosphere annually.

Growing the #CircularEconomy 

Growing the circular economy with Mahoney Environmental 

What are we doing: Over a three year period, Neste went from not being able to purchase a single drop of used cooking oil to becoming one of the largest buyers of used cooking oil (UCO) in the United States.  This includes collecting used cooking oil from across Texas via our subsidiary Mahoney Environmental. An activity that keeps people working and puts money back into the pockets of local businesses. Neste has a long term contracts in place to store used cooking oil in the US Gulf as well as at  east and west coast ports.important at. Neste’s storage tanks in the Houston Ship Channel, by volume, are one of the largest used cooking oil storage facilities in the United States.

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Boosting SAF availability with TexMark Chemicals, a local refiner in Houston 

What we are doing: Neste retrofitted an out of a service refining unit to produce SAF instead of oil products and chemicals. This has kept people working, transforming oil jobs into what can be considered green jobs. At the refinery, Neste completes the final processing and production of SAF. The fuel is shipped across the country by our many local partners. Importantly, this shows that it is possible for the U.S. oil and gas industry to convert its existing petroleum processing equipment to make advanced biofuels. 

Looking ahead in Texas 

Over the past decade, Neste has transformed from a local oil refining company to a world-leading producer of renewable fuels, and one of the world’s most sustainable companies. There is no time to waste in combating climate change, and Neste is committed to working faster, bolder and together with other companies to create a healthier planet for the next generation. 

Neste’s journey to becoming a leader in renewable and circular solutions embodies its work in Texas, tackling the climate crisis in a state known for oil production by developing innovative solutions to meet sustainability goals and effectively reduce our carbon footprint. 

Credits: Neste